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The House I Live In (2012)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,504 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 17 user | 49 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself, narrator, interviewer (voice)
Nannie Jeter ...
Herself
Betty Chism ...
Herself
Dennis Whidbee ...
Himself
Elzie Hooks ...
Himself, inmate, Lexington Correctional Center
Robert Wilson ...
Himself
...
Himself, journalist
Michael Correa ...
Himself
Gabor Mate ...
Himself
Charles Bowden ...
Himself
Mark W. Bennet ...
Himself, judge, Northern District of Iowa
Maurice Haltiwanger ...
Himself
Jim K. McGough ...
Himself, Maurice Haltiwanger's defense attorney
Eric Franklin ...
Himself, warden, Lexington Correctional Center
Don Walker ...
Himself, inmate, Lexington Correctional Center
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Storyline

From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The war on drugs has never been about drugs. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | | |

Language:

Release Date:

5 October 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikkalainen huumesota  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,453 (USA) (5 October 2012)

Gross:

$210,752 (USA) (8 February 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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User Reviews

 
Well-crafted advocacy piece with a few distracting flaws.
19 September 2012 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The House I Live In is a very informative work of advocacy that's only thinly masquerading as a documentary. It's a more reformed, nuanced version of a Michael Moore piece that has a clear point of advocacy aimed squarely at whatever practical center still exists. It doesn't hit you over the head with a message or misleading facts but squarely lets you arrive at the conclusion that the drug war has failed.

It's not an anti-corporate rant with a clear villain to rally against. I left thinking that there was enough material and story there to easily fill a mini-series or a Ken Burns style documentary without getting preachy or creating fatigue.

It has enlightening and entertaining moments, but there are many flaws in the storytelling. Many characters are introduced, many of which with too much or not enough background, and seem to float around their promised purpose without really landing at a point or purpose. (Given the ending theme of the work, perhaps this is intentional.)

David Simon's incredibly powerful monologues bring a saving grace to moments in the film that tend to struggle, especially moments where the director awkwardly inserts himself into the film.

Unlike a lot of similar works, you could probably take your Republican parents to see it without the evening being automatically ruined.

Unlike almost every other advocacy piece I've seen, it achieves its goal of starting a conversation, rather than ending one.


39 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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